October 3, 2023
November 21, 2023




Theme: Cooperatives: Pioneering the Path to Recovery Amidst Modern Challenges of Climate Change and Food Security (October 16, 2023)


President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. met with 287 cooperator-leaders, legislative champions, and ally government agencies at the Malacañang Palace in celebration of the National Cooperative Month, which took place this morning (October 16, 2023).

It can be recalled that in his 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24, 2023, President Bongbong Marcos Jr. highlighted the crucial role of cooperatives in developing the production and market power of the agriculture sector. He mentioned the need to amend the provisions of RA 9520, the Cooperative Code, to promote the development of agri-based cooperatives. “Upang mas mapabilis at mapadali ang pagbuo ng kooperatiba, kakailanganin natin ang suporta ng kongreso na maamyendahan ang Cooperative Code,” the President mentioned in his last SONA.

According to President Marcos Jr., there is a need to assist, educate, and train grassroots farmers and farmer leaders about cooperative management and other technical skills necessary for a sustainable and independent enterprise, in line with the principles of cooperative self-help. More important than financial assistance is the emphasis on management and leadership, according to President Marcos.

Apart from the development of a stable food supply chain, he also emphasized the importance of modernization and agricultural mechanization to create a sector with economies of scale, leading to better production and improved livelihoods for the agriculture sector.


Agri-based Cooperatives and Consolidation

“The cooperative movement is closely related to agriculture for a simple reason: we need to consolidate our farmers,” President Marcos said.

“Ang Cooperative movement will organize the cooperatives para maging 150 hectares, 200 hectares, 250 hectares,” emphasizing the need for cooperative consolidation to achieve larger production and economies of scale.

He also mentioned that consolidation will not only lead to increased yields but also empower cooperatives in lobbying and advocacy. “Pag marami-rami na iyan, kahit na ‘yung congressman ninyo, ‘yung governor ninyo, ‘yung mayor ninyo, makikinig na sa inyo dahil marami na ang cooperative. The cooperative has some influence,” said President Marcos.

“Yan ang hihilingin ko sa cooperative movement, na simulan na natin ang proseso ng pag-consolidate ng ating mga farmers’ association – ng ating mga cooperatives, lahat.”

In this endeavor, President Marcos assures the sector, along with the Cooperative Development Authority, that the government will support the sector. This includes supporting the cooperative sector’s push for amendments to RA 9520.


What Can Cooperatives Do?

In his presentation and declaration of commitment of support from the cooperatives, Representative Felimon M. Espares of COOP NATCCO Party-list lists what cooperatives can do regarding food security and climate change.

“These cooperatives are willing to aid in the fight for food security,” said Cong. Espares. He lists key areas where cooperatives can assist the agri-food sector of the country: (1) Agri-Enterprise Development, (2) Agri-Finance and Insurance, (3) Value Chain Integration, (4) Market Access and Fair Trade, (5) Climate-Smart Agriculture, (6) Technology Adoption, (7) Training and Capacity-Building, (8) Community-Based Food Systems, (9) Food Processing and Preservation, (10) Advocacy for Policies, and (11) Disaster Preparedness.


Cooperation among Cooperatives

Representative Espares emphasizes the principle of cooperation among cooperatives. “In this regard, I call upon the large and billionaire cooperatives and federations to assist the micro, small, and medium coops.”

The provision of financial and technical assistance to micro, small, and medium cooperatives will create a more stable, sustainable, and capable cooperative system.

Representative Espares also pushed for the passage of RA 9520 amendments, indicating the 15-year gap since the last cooperative code amendment, and the need to modernize and improve the code in the changing times.

In his closing statement before the President, he stated the commitment of support, and declared that the cooperative sector will “stand firmly by your [President’s] side.” He stresses that with the strong support of the government via its various agencies, change can be done for climate change and food security.


The Cooperative Way of Securing Food and Job Generation

In her presentation for the agriculture cluster, Philippine Cooperative Center Chairperson, Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives (NSCC) Chief Executive Officer, and Agri-cluster Sectoral Apex Organization President, Divina C. Quemi, presented the optimal framework for securing food and job generation. This means increasing partnerships between cooperatives and the government and developing synergy between their programs and policies.

“Through the synergy of cooperative programs and agri-related advocacies, and the government programs and cooperative and agriculture enabling laws, we can secure our food and job generation,” said Chairperson Quemi.

In her examples, she showcased how NSCC partnered with the government, farmers’ associations, and other cooperatives in strengthening their production, processing, marketing, and the entire value chain for the benefit of the agriculture sector. Examples of these include their partnerships with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Science and Technology in their bagnet, chichacorn, and longganisa products.

Representatives of other Cluster Sectoral Apex Organizations – Atty. Mickel Borigas (Finance), Dr. Andy Pazon (Consumer), Ret. MGen. Gilbert Llanto (Human Services), Mr. Leonardo Silverio (Utility), and Ms. Annabelle Tuy (Education, Advocacy, and Unions)  presented a short situationer of their respective clusters and expressed their support for developing food security and climate change. Engr. Sylvia Paraguya, Chief Executive Officer of the National Confederation of Cooperatives, synthesized and consolidated the reports of the clusters.


National Cooperative Month

October serves as the month of celebration for cooperatives, institutionalized by Republic Act No. 11502 or the Act Declaring the month of October of every year as the National Cooperative Month.

The event was also attended by Representative Nicanor Briones of AGAP Partylist, Chairperson on the Committee on Cooperatives Development.

From the CDA: Undersecretary Joseph “Joy” Encabo, Chairperson, Assistant Secretary and Acting Administrator Myrla Paradillo, Asec. Pendatun Disimban, Asec. Abdulsalam Guinomla, Asec. Vergel Hilario, and Asec. Luz Yringco.

Other government partners: National Anti-Poverty Commission Lead Convener Secretary Lope B. Santos III, Chairman Ferdinand Ortega, Office of Transport Cooperatives; Vice President for Corporate Business Affair Group Melba P. Manalo, and Manager Arvin Adan, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation; Dir. Atty. Sarah Mirasol, Department of Labor and Employment; Director Nichols Manalo, Field Operations, Department of Agriculture; Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr., and OIC Assistant Chief Miguel Alfaro, Bureau of Internal Revenue; Vice President Edgardo Luzano, and Vice President Leonardo Aurellana, Land Bank of the Philippines; Antique Vice Governor Edgar Denosta; Ms. Mary Rose Villaflor, National Anti-Poverty Commission Vice Chair for the Government Sector Chief of Staff,  and Sectoral Council Representative for Cooperatives Rafael Gayaso, National Anti-Poverty Commission.

The event was attended by 38 federations and union delegates, 61 primary cooperative leaders from Luzon, 38 primary cooperative leaders from Visayas, and 14 primary cooperative leaders from Mindanao.

Mr. Joselito Hallazgo of the Cooperative Development Authority, and Ms. Cheska Guinto-Garais of the Philippine Cooperative Center, served as the event’s hosts.

The National Cooperative Day, Cooperatives’ Day with the President was convened by the United Movement for the Advancement of Cooperatives in the Philippines (UCMP: composed of COOP NATCCO Party-list, Philippine Cooperative Center, Union of Metro Manila Cooperatives, League of Cooperative Development Officers, and National Cooperative Development Council) together with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). This year’s Day with the President was led and convened by Representative Filemon Espares of the COOP NATCCO Party list.



Contact persons:


Edwin A. Bustillos                                                                                     Ray JP Santiago

09178017309                                                                                               09564490166


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